In this second installment of useful basketball stats, I wanted to include a metric which isn't quite so familiar to people. Usage rate combines various values in a typical box score to estimate the number of team plays which are "used" by an individual player in the minutes they played. The values used in this estimate are rooted in the typical end of a possession which ends in three possible ways: a turnover, a field goal, or a free throw. Comparing these values, both team and individual, along with factoring in minutes played bring you the Usage Rate.
The formula is: 100 * ((FGA + 0.44 * FTA + TOV) * (Tm MP / 5)) / (MP * (Tm FGA + 0.44 * Tm FTA + Tm TOV)).
In an NBA example the leader in USG% last year 2016/2017 was Russell Westbrook at 41.7% So Westbrook used 41.7% of all the total possible plays in a game. These is obviously easy to understand qualitatively because Westbrook averaged a triple-double and was the at the center of all the action for the Thunder.
In a more relatable example for all levels of basketball......in my team's final game of the first semester my starting point guard had a great line of 18 pts, 8 rb, 8 ast - shooting 60% from the field, and playing 31 minutes. Her USG% that game was 22.1% So when she was on the floor she was involved in that percentage of the teams plays. The weakness of this stat is that it does not include assists in usage terms. You could have a player who fought for a rebound, dribbled through 3 people, and layed a drop pass to a teammate for a layup but technically she didn't "use" that play by this metric. There are other tools to compare this stat against such as Assist% and Offensive Rating which help to paint a clear picture about player effectiveness and efficiency. These analytics are tools, not silver bullet solutions, but they certainly tell you a lot more than a typical box score!
Some great resources for getting familiar with advanced stats and analytics are:
Coach Matt - Father, Coach, Life Long Learner, Basketball Addict